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Will Aaron Craft succeed in the NBA?

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Oyster's picture

He has as good a chance as anyone else does if he works hard and really wants to do that after college.  If not, he has his education to use.  I heard somewhere he is really smart too...

Baroclinicity's picture

Succeed is very subjective...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

rdubs's picture

So much this.  I would argue that if he is a solid contributor to a team for 3-5 years (doesn't even necessarily start) then one could call that succeeding.  There are so many players for so few spots that it is hard for anyone to make a 15 year career.  But we do know that no one will out work him especially on defense and if his offense takes another couple steps forward this year then who knows.  
A shut down defender at PG is pretty important given the number of great PGs in the league right now.  So what the heck, yes works for me.

cplunk's picture

If he develops a more consistent shot and makes a higher percentage of his driving layups, then yes. His defense is top notch. 
It will come down to his shooting. It just isn't consistent enough right now.

Poison nuts's picture

Can you ask me again after the upcoming season?

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

droessl's picture

I wonder how/if his skillset would translate to what the NBA is now. If this were the late 80's NBA where specialists (save for 3-pt shooters) were utilized better, I'd be more inclined to think he could succeed. But it seems to me like most NBA teams would rather have a player who does everything at a C-level rather than do some things at A-level and others at a D-level. 
I'd honestly rather have him as an assistant coach under Thad once his college days are over, and would guess I'm not alone in that thinking. Here's to another full season of Craft irritating the piss out of the other team!

chitown buckeye's picture

I agree with your assessment. The NBA has changed and I just dont think his skill set fits the game at that level. I think he has NBA quality defensive skills but offensively he would be a burden for any team. Not sure his ball-handling is up to par, certainly his shooting is poor. He fits the college game so well but in todays NBA it is all about one on one match-ups and I dont think he could produce offensively enough to get a shot.  NBA is an entirely different game of basketball for better or worse. 

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Earle's picture

I was going to vote no, based on what I've seen of his offensive game. But then I realized that I would be betting against Aaron Craft succeeding, and it occurred to me that this would be a foolish thing to do in just about any context.

Italics are for emphasis.

shortbus20's picture

I will not bet against Craft succeeding and I think he shoots just as well as Mike Conley does right now.

  • shortbus20
chitown buckeye's picture

The big difference to me is Conley can get to the rim at will in the NBA. He is fast with the dribble and much better ball handler than Craft. IMO he brings a bit more to the table. In the NBA, the PG doesn't have to shoot lights out, however getting to the rim and distributing is a must and Im not sure Craft could do that consistently in the NBA. Couple that with his poor shooting and I think he would have a tough time making a team.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

buckeyestu's picture

Imo opinion, i think Craft will be a bench player, but a very valuable one, because he plays such great defense.

jthiel09's picture

He'll be an asset to any team he would get picked up by, and as far as succeed that all depends on who he goes to, development by that team, how he is used, if he's given quality time, etc...
Either way the kid is a winner and it'll be great if we get a chance to watch him at the next level.

JT

OldColumbusTown's picture

The NBA has become a league driven by quick, dynamic guards who can break down defenses with penetration. Aaron Craft can be a guy who I think will help a team combat those guards.

We all know he's a bit offensively-challenged. But, the one thing most all basketball players show when they become professionals is an improvement in their outside shooting. It is the one thing holding Craft back right now, and if a team believes he/they can improve his shooting, I believe he'll find himself on an NBA roster next season.

Gametime's picture

Realistically Aaron will never sniff the league if he stays as he is right now. MAYBE he can play ball overseas maybe and then get his doctorate. 
The holes in his game right now are massive; he's not a consistent enough shooter from 15ft out, not a particularly great finisher at the rim, nor can he create shots for his teammates at an elite level. 
He's solid fundamentally all around, but he MUST become at very least a knock down shooter off the pick & roll or spotting up. IF he can do that, he may increase his chances because of the tenacity in which he plays D.
The Eric Snow comparison we've seen on LGHL, but that would require him to go to the right team, one that has enough scorers & playmakers that all they would need him to do is come in, lock people up, & make hustle plays.
IF AC does develop a reliable J and a P&R game, watch out though!

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

Squirrel Master's picture

I predict one day Aaron Craft will get the "best 6th man" trophy. He will be the best backup point guard in the league at one time.
My reasoning, look at the current backup PGs. Lakers, Steve Blake. He can shoot but can he do anything else even close to what Craft can do, and craft can shoot a clutch shot when necessary. Darren Collison, Craft is better. Craft could compete with most PG in the league and definitely most backups. Can he hang with Tony Parker? no, of course not.
but if Trey Burke can be a starting PG and get owned by Craft on defense, then I think Craft can and will "succeed" in the NBA. I say 10 years, maybe starting a bit due to injury but mostly a very skilled backup.
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

buckatron32's picture

I voted no. I wish I could have voted "Who cares, he's going to be a doctor"

tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't know if Craft will be an NBA player, but I do know it won't be for a lack of trying. The kid gives his all to everything he does. And if there's one thing about Craft that we all should know and appreciate it's that he gives maximum effort on the court. The results may not always be what we as fans would want, like him taking the last shot in an important game, costly turnovers late in a game, missed free throws, etc., I love the kid and have enjoyed watching him play at OSU.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

I voted no but I'm hoping for yes.  As others have said, he has to be a better jump shooter to have a chance.  Further, with all due respect to Burke, we haven't seen him play defense against Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Westbrook, etc.  If he's going to have staying power as a defensive oriented PG he's going to have to prove he can slow down the top flight PGs in the game.  Otherwise, you take a high percentage shooter and live with bad defense.

Squirrel Master's picture

have you not read that he can handle his own vs. Kyrie Irving? I think Craft will be fine as a defensive backup PG, who also can score as soon as they let their guards down and think he can't.
BTW, who can defend Parker, Paul and Westbrook? They can't guard each other. Hence why they are the best. There are over 100 PG active in the NBA, Craft would be better than 50% of them guaranteed!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

I haven't seen the Kyrie stuff so you may well be right.  I also agree with you that no one can totally shut down those other guys.  My point is, if Craft is among the rest of the humans who can't stop the top flight PGs, and he can't shoot as well as other journeyman PGs, why would a coach put Craft on the floor?  Perhaps he's good enough to shut down the "average" NBA PG, a task other journeymen can't get done, while at least being respectable on offense? 

wibuckeye's picture

As an executive or owner, no doubt.

WIBUCKEYE

southbymidwest's picture

I voted yes for the simple fact that I want him to do well in the NBA, go on to med school and make the cover of SI, then have a successful and fulfilling medical practice and a great life.

d1145fresh's picture

Jason Kidd couldn't shoot worth a damn and he played quiet a long time. Granted he became a far better shooter later in his career but I would say Craft is better defensively than Kidd was. He could succeed I just don't know if he really wants/needs too. He might be far more successful off the court than on it in the coming years.

Nappy's picture

Has he expressed a desire to play in the league?  I think he'd be able to contribute somewhat to a team but not sure he'll get the chance.

Fan of bacon since 1981

alust2013's picture

Depends on the team. There are some teams that like PGs that score a lot and other teams that use them as a distributor and don't ask for a lot of points, and if a team really wants to improve their defense, they couldn't ask for a better guy. I say yes though, because I'll bet there is at least 1 GM that has their eye on him and an idea.

...and Michigan still sucks.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

He's a hard working payer who gives it his all.  I see him filling a role like a John Stockton in the NBA.  Obviously Craft isn't going to be power dunking and all of that in the NBA, but he's a smart player who can find his spot on team and fill it well. 

Eddie-Eddie's picture

Have faith in Craft!

KSparkle's picture

I think he'll be good for us next year. But I don't see him being more than a bench warmer in the NBA.
Disclaimer: I generally have little faith in white basketball players when it comes to the NBA. 

Iwearmocs's picture

Not without an outside sgot.  His defense is good, but I dont think he will be destructive enough for that to be his only NBA caliber skill.  Now if he can develop a 3 point shot...

buckeye1129's picture

I love Aaron Craft, but he just is not cut from the same mold as a Steve Kerr, let alone a John Stockton.  If he gets drafted, it will be as a defensive specialist to play around 10 minutes a game, harassing the opposing point guard.  However, if his offense does not improve and become more diverse this year, I unfortunately do not think he will be drafted.  
Who cares anyway; a doctor is more meaningful to society than a pro basketball player.  I'm sure that as an Academic All American, Craft will do fine in whatever he chooses to do.